Saturday, July 19, 2008

Called to Homeschool?

There seems to be in the homeschool movment extremes in either direction which give the reasonable majority a bad name. Of those I would suggest that there are those who believe that homeschooling is the be-all and end-all, the salvation for our futures and our nation; in essence those who "evangelize" others to homeschooling and believe that all Christians need to be doing so. In today's entry from Spunky of Spunky Homeschool, she acknowledges that there are these people out there, and homeschool conventions are a good place to find them. She recognizes the only salvation for any of us...Jesus. I love how she puts it:

Homeschooling is not the salvation of our culture. Jesus is. Homeschooling will not make a family successful. Jesus does. Homeschooling will not keep a child from rebellion. Jesus does. Homeschooling will not keep a marriage strong. Jesus does. And the minute I think that homeschooling will do any of these things is the day I begin the slide toward defeat. Homeschooling will not build a successful family any more than a hammer will build a successful house.
Classical Conversations has been a huge help to me in sorting out my homeschooling philosophy, and one of their recommended titles is Douglas Wilson's The Case for Classical Christian Education. While this book is not in itself a "homeschooling" book, it is heavy on the philosphy of why Christians need to be educating children in a particular way. It is very compelling, and I found myself riding the proverbial pedulum in the direction of "every Christian is called to homeschool" or at the very least, be highly selective about the environment in which they are educated, all "Christian"schools not being equal. So I tested this philosophy / new-to-me thinking out on a few of my more experienced homeschooling friends. I think all three of them were smiling inwardly at my naievety. One of them, however looked down at my kitchen floor and said, "no comment." I said, "Comment, please." She replied with, "I would never share that point of view with anyone." This being a friend that I deeply respect I felt an inward "uh-oh." She pointed out the legalistic pitfall that this point of view creates, and ultimately provides a platform for judgement and division amongst Christians. Touche. So simple--why didn't I see it?

So no, I do not fall under that extreme, and I hope by reading this you may be encouraged to give grace to your brothers and sisters who do not share your point of view. Successful Christian homeschooling families tend to be strong families and the world needs more and more of these. What we need to do is pray for the families within the body to be healed and to be strong, and possibly, as a natural byproduct, we may see more homeschoolers arise--but not necessarily.

3 comments:

  1. This is a great point. What is important is however you are educating your children it's God centered. So often we forget that our work is only for God's glory.

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  2. Kelly,

    Good post. I have just been thinking and posting about this on my own blog, marcys-musings.blogspot.com, and in fact have had comments from a volunteer for our state's Christian homeschooling organization. We're having an interesting discussion about exactly that issue - whether those who advocate only homeschooling are being judgemental of those who think there might be other options. :)

    Thanks for bringing this up!

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  3. Kelly,

    Great post! I've linked to it on my blog:

    http://marcys-musings.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-on-stridency-of-some-homeschool.html

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